I satisfied my herb search today at my local nursery, Shannon Florist, and supported a new-ish and innovative local business, Brooklyn Commune, and a non-profit organization that fosters urban growing, Project EATS at their plant and seedling sale. I came home with basil, a couple heirloom tomato plants (insurance in case my seeds don’t germinate and an opportunity to expand my varieties). I also brought home a couple small cucumber plants because I got wrapped up in a moment of gushing gardeners. The purple kale is because the lady from Project EATS (pictured below) was, wisely, offering sample tastes. I also compared notes with several other visitors to the stand on what’s the best way to grow beets in Brooklyn (I was relieved to know I’m not the only one who has struggled to get them to grow, container or ground). A lovely woman who I learned is a neighbor gave me a suggestion for using an empty kitty litter container for cucumbers. (Ironically, the reason I’m looking to raise them off the ground is that there is a stray cat who prowls the yard so I want to keep them up, up and away but I don’t have much trellis space). The sale started in the morning. I got there around noon, and it still had a few hours to go. I left with hands, but not arms, full. I was proud of myself for the restraint, given that I really wanted to snatch up every single one of those plants and soak in hours of the casual chatter, brimming with advice and anecdotes. But I left with just enough, and no more than I needed.
I took a look at the Project Eats link and it looks like a worthy endeavor. Interesting that they are growing their produce in Brighton Beach, so aside from being fresh their produce doesn’t take much energy to transport. Eventually commercial industrialized farmers will see that if they are not willing to produce ‘real’ food there are lots of little projects and individuals who can replace them. Lets all hope ‘our’ govt doesn’t decide to step in and save us all from eating too much healthy food. On the plus side and in our favor is the fact that there are probably millions of people out there growing some sort of food and no way to really stop them. There was a time when practically everyone grew at least part of their own food, and the way gardening is coming back into favor that day may be coming back sooner than we think. Although they may not realize it yet, small scale and individual gardeners will likely result in a healthier population.
On a bit of a tangent but still on the buy American/ support small business theme, last week I ordered a belt (pants type) online. My current leather belt was showing the strain of my keys and other things I’ve been carrying from it, forming bends under the strain. I posted the question of ‘carrying stuff’ and two suggestions were made:
Both sites are American companies that make built to order belts. The Beltman makes primarily dress belts, Bullhide specializes in but is not limited to gun belts. Gun belts are as the name suggests made to carry guns, and in reality are simply sturdy belts made to carry a few pounds. Reviews on both brands were very good and I opted for Bullhide. I didn’t go for their heaviest/ strongest series thinking they may be too heavy ( 1/4 inch thick single layer leather ). Mine should be arriving the end of this week.
Here’s a quick rundown for anyone interested. First, they are not cheap- neither in price or materials used. As one site mentioned (and I experienced first hand) these are not your typical store belts which will eventually come apart at the seams. When ordering, you actually go down a list selecting options such as width, length, hole spacing and layout, color. design pattern if any, type of leather, buckle style and what it’s made of, and keeper options (I learned that’s the name for the loop that holds the end of the belt). Bullhide’s site actually modifies a picture of the belt to reflect the options as you select them. Check out both sites and see what they have to offer. A really nice quality American made belt can make a nice gift for someone- or yourself. Support American business.
Well said, Ralph! (by the way your arugula, borage, mustard, and basil seeds have all come up for me – THANKS!)
Revel, I am totally impressed by your restraint! It is such a hard thing to keep impulses in check at plant sales. Good for you for sticking to your plan! You’ve inspired me with your quest to streamline and simplify your gardening efforts this year…I suspect you’ll be very happy with that choice! Can’t wait to see how your garden grows this season.
Glad to hear the seeds germinated OK. The mustard seeds were not mine, but it’s good to hear our seed collecting was a success.
I am hoping to get my belt by week’s end, I’ll post a short followup for anyone interested.
I got my belt in the mail today- nice. The leather was about twice as thick as my current belt- and they have an even thicker series. It is very nicely finished and stitched. I received an email today from http://www.bullhidebelts.com/ where I bought it and they have a pretty good selection of belts already made on sale. Check Bullhide and http://thebeltman.net/ out if you think you may be interested. Bullhide gives a 3 year guarantee (how many things are made in the USA and are guaranteed for 3 years?), and their sizing of pants size plus 4 inches was right on. A nice quality belt would make a nice gift for someone special (or yourself 🙂 – keep Americans working!
Although I don’t need more convincing to buy American, their site is pretty persuasive, with these reminders why it’s important to buy U.s.-made goods:
We are proud to announce our support of American Made Matters and their effort to promote products made in America. Most of the belts available in stores and online are made overseas and fall apart in a short amount of time. Every belt we make is handcrafted in our Indiana leather shop and shipped directly to you. We do not use cardboard or fillers like the foreign made belts and back up our work with a full 3 year warranty.
Please help us promote American made products and in return we can strengthen the American Dream by:
– Stopping the rapid decline of manufacturing jobs in America.
– Promoting national security.
– Building a better future and community for our children.
– Protecting our environment.
– Building our economy.
– Saving energy because less shipping is needed for materials/end result products.
A quick followup note after wearing my belt a while. In spite of it’s thickness it felt no different wearing it than my well worn softened leather belt. I thought it might be uncomfortable, it wasn’t- and this includes while driving. The one noticeable difference was pulling the end through the buckle to put it on. There is no mistake that you have a heavy piece of leather in your hand!
Sounds like a very smart purchase! At the doctor earlier this week for a routine visit (that doesn’t require close inspection), I took off the belt I wear most days before getting weighed, and the nurse looked at me thinking the pants were coming next. I stopped there, however, telling her I needed all the lesser poundage I could get. Apparently it was worth it. This is the same belt I wore last visit (and didn’t take off then). The scale showed a few pounds lighter than last time. I think it was the belt’s doing.
Had you thought of that sooner you could have started off with little sandbags hanging off your belt. Each doctor visit remove another sand bag- voila, lost weight! Of cause you can only do that a few times- – – – and then you start making visits, first with one helium balloon, then two …….